Discovering America on a motorcycle is a dream of every rider. The drives are every bit as awesome as you can ever imagine. The perfect stretch of smooth tarmac, biker-friendly stops and the incredible vistas make riding on the road an adventure of a lifetime. Here are our picks of the top 10 road stretches in the USA that are best experienced on a bike.
Built alongside the majestic Pacific Coast, California Highway 1 is regarded as one of the finest all time roads for motorcylists in the United States. The road abounds with terrifying twists and turns with lots of rollercoaster ups and downs, opening up magnificent panoramic views of the oceanic waves rolling by at each turn. The 700 mile long road starts from Leggett in the Redwood forest and meanders along the south to Dana Point close to Leguna Beach, passing by an endless array of stunning sites along the route.
The 2,552 mile long Great River Road or Highway 61 starts from Itasca State Park, Minnesota and reaches Jackson, Louisiana. Built in 1938, it was meant to be a single route connecting 10 states lying alongside the great Mississippi River, starting from its headwaters in Minnesota and terminating in Louisiana Cajun County. The joyride takes you through sections of the road dotted with cypress swamps, sprawling meadows, limestone cliffs, thick forests or wildlife havens. You can avoid the industrial cities scattered alongside.
Needles Highway is so called because it winds its way through tall granite needles. Take to the Needles Highway and you will feel as if it was built especially to raise your adrenaline levels! However, breakneck speed is something that you will be forced to avoid when you take in the stunning vistas along the route. The road passes through two tunnels, Iron Creek Tunnel and Needles Eye Tunnel blasted through the steep granite walls. If you are lucky, you might just spot a bison sauntering by or see the deer and antelope at play. The Needles Highway is also the venue for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, an exciting event held in August every year.
This spectacular road, built both for the motor cycles and sports cars, runs along the border of the south-eastern part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With 318 curves in an 11 mile span and supported by amazing sights along the way, a motorcycle ride on the Tail of the Dragon is the stuff that dreams are for the adventure bikers. Along the route, you can also stop at the "Tree of Shame", a monument dedicated to the people who crashed their bikes while driving recklessly along the road. On the tree, you can see bike parts nailed to the trees and dangling from their branches. The Tail of the Dragon is also a favorite shooting locale for the Hollywood and TV producers and has featured in several movies and television programs including The Fugitive and Top Gear.
Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia winds through the countryside of the state of Virginia and offers local attractions to the bike riders. Along the route, you will come across an old mill pond with a still working millwheel as well as a host of charming Civil War sites. The lower half of the road runs from I-77 to Cherokee, NC. Along this route, you will be able to see the mighty Smokey Mountains of the North Carolina. Drive further and you will come across some of the finest mountain views below Ashville, NC in the eastern United States. The speed limit on the road is 45 miles an hour, which means that you can speed down and savour the delightful scenery as it unfolds.
The Beartooth Pass, Wyoming has several ups and downs with only a few guard rails to test your biking skills. Drive along the road and you find be rewarded with some of the most breath-taking sights of the mountains. The road weaves its way through dense deep forests, passes by meandering rivers and majestic rocks, snow and tundra. A roller-coaster plunge down the steep rock on the route will take your breath away.
San Juan Mountain Skyway, Colorado is, in fact, a loop so that you can start your journey from anywhere and take any direction. You may encounter the kind of scenery on a part of the Rocky Mountains that you may not have seen before. Your way may pass through historic mining towns, national parks, thick forests and world-class ski-resorts. The San Juan Mountains host some of Colorado's selected group of 14,000 foot high mountain peaks. Motor cycle riders may come across red rock crayons, fabulous river valleys, hot springs and spectacular mountain peaks in an area some people love to call as the Switzerland of America.
Tunnel of the Trees Road passes through a thick canopy of trees along the forest terrain. It runs approximately 35 miles from Mackinac Island, a famous tourist spot located at the junction of Michigan and Upper Peninsula Michigan. You will pass close by the eastern shoreline of the Lake Michigan in a thick forest with some old summer cabin homes on one side and the spectacular shoreline of the Michigan Lake on the other. The best views can be enjoyed along the harbour en-route to the town of Harbour Springs.
The Arkansas Pig Trail can be reached through the town of Ozark situated between the Little Rock and Fort Smith. The trail passes through the rugged and thickly forested Boston Mountain terrains of Ozark Mountains and frequently runs through a tunnel of dense foliage. You are greeted by the wild flowers of the Spring and brilliant colors of the autumn as you drive through the area especially during the spring and fall. The route passes through the Mulberry River and the 165-mile long Ozark Highlands Trail. Beware of lots of hairpin bends and sudden drop-offs where you may find the cliffs right in front of you. You will come across a general store midway where you can get a pin declaring that you have crossed "The Arkansas Dragon."
The 131 mile long Three Sisters Road starts in Medina, Texas and takes you along clear river waters, majestic mountain ranges and Texas style ranches. If you love fishing, you may stop by the Nueces River which abounds in largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and the native Guadalupe bass besides a host of panfish such as redbreast sunfish, rock bass, green sunfish and Rio Grand perch.